Monday, July 9, 2007

Losing Weight After 40?

In a weight and age obsessed society weight gain as I aged felt like a double wammy. Being attractive in Western culture is almost a commandment. Even thought I’d been thin all my life, as my metabolism changed I found myself putting on a pound year, then two or three. Thank heaven, by 45 or so my vision changed and anything within two feet blurred or disappeared all together. Just give me a good pair of reading glasses. When I saw photos of me using those glasses, I saw I looked far different from what I felt. My first reaction was shrieking, “Where the hell did all those wrinkles come from?” Putting on makeup became impossible without a 7x mirror and finding something fashionable to wear, impossible. Then one day I realized, “OMG, I’m wearing all elastic waist pants! I’ve turned into my mother.” Aging makes you incredibly unfashionable and weight gain is only part of the picture.

There was one major benefit to reaching 40: I’d developed into a self-accepting person. I have faced myself in the deepest recesses of my mind and I understand and accept that I am not a perfect person. I have not always been a good daughter, a good parent, a good friend, or even a good person. I have weaknesses both moral, mental and physical. I’ve done some things of which I am ashamed. I also learned there are things that make a decent person, and that the only person I needed to worry about judging me (unless I land in a courtroom) is myself over my own actions. At 29 I faced death on a very personal level and had a brief, pre-death chat with God. Then I had another incident at 48. Death is closer to all of us than what you may think. So now I face the future knowing the important thing is how I live my life. What's on the outside shouldn't be discounted, but it isn't all that counts.

Luckily, I am not seriously overweight; if I were I’d take dieting seriously. At this point, I'm trying not to obsess about my weight. Instead, I've pledge to become more observant of what I eat, how much I exercise and walk, and to take better care of my general health as a total lifestyle change. I’m going to wear clothes that are comfortable and put on the outside what matches the person I am on the inside, not some designer’s seasonal dictates. (Don't worry, I still try to be color and style coordinated)

Luckily, that saves a lot of money for theater tickets and other fun side trips. In my social crowd, your thinness isn't all that important.


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